Politics was different in the old days. Democratic and Republican Party leaders picked the delegates who went to the presidential convention. There were some long days and evenings picking the nominees. The Democrats in 1924 needed 103 ballots cast over two weeks to choose a candidate.
Nowadays voters choose delegates at the ballot box. Today is Super Tuesday. These are the states holding elections for both Republicans and Democrats. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. The contest in Alaska is only for Republicans and in Colorado only for Democrats.
Another seven states choose delegates the following weekend.
Republicans are picking 661 delegates. Democrats are choosing 865 delegates. Southern states have the most contests of any U.S. region. The ways in which candidates have delegates awarded to them differ by state.
What will it all mean? It is a two-person race in the Democratic Party. If Hillary Clinton wins enough delegates, she will say she won. The Democratic contest will be over. There are three main candidates for the Republicans. They are Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Trump currently is ahead. If Cruz or Rubio do not do well, there will be a panic among the Republicans.
By the end of March, the contests for the nominations could be over.
Republicans may find they have nominated a man who is not fit to be president.
There is a slight chance Republicans will revolt against Trump. For example, Rubio could agree to support Cruz. Or the other way around. All their delegates could go to one of them.
Or Trump may not have enough delegates to win the nomination. That could result in a “brokered” convention. This result is unlikely but possible.
Donald Trump could be the Republican candidate. There will be an election campaign like none before.
Source: Politico February 28, 2016